Event: 3rd Annual Precision Agriculture Conference & AG Tech Showcase
Theme: Turning Precision Agriculture’s Potential into Profit
Venue: Best Western Lamplighter Inn, London Ontario
Date: Tuesday, February 02, to 03, 2016
The 3rd annual Precision Agriculture Conference and Ag Tech Showcase, was held at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn in London last week. London and surrounding Area is recognized as one of the most agriculturally productive and richest areas in Ontario. The theme of this year’s conference was “Turning Precision Agriculture’s Potential into Profit”
Precision Agriculture Conference & AG Tech Showcase
The aim of this year’s conference was to share the innovative and best practices on a wide range of topics such as sensors, managing big farm data, software, UAVs and agronomy that help agronomists and farmers to unlock the full potential of the resources. This Annual event is quickly becoming one of the largest gathering of Agriculture experts, professionals and farmers in Canada, with specific emphasis on encouraging networking, building new as well as strengthening existing relationships.
The conference was inaugurated with a welcome address by Joe Dales, Executive Vice President Farms.com Ltd., who underscored the growing need for sustainability in farming practices. This was followed by Paul Schrempf, who spoke about the market dynamics involving farmers and retailers and the lack of cross platform compatibility among VRT, UAVs, Sensors and Imagery.
Steve Redmond, Precision Agriculture Specialist at Hensall District Co-Operative gave a brief history of Precision Agriculture in Ontario and where they were in adoption of this technology, advent of GPS systems. This was followed by Tim Marquis’s presentation on using the services offered by Weather Decision Technology.
The Trade show part of the conference was opened to the public and represented by most of the well-known service providers for precision Agriculture such as 360 Yield Center, AgLeader, Agri-Trend, DU PONT, Farm Credit Canada, Delta, Deveron UAS, Farms.com, GPS Ontario, Haggerty Creek, Hensall District, Huron Tractor, LaserAg, Practical Precision, Unmanned Systems Canada, Trimble, and many others.
- Precision Agriculture Agronomy Session by Aaron, Stephanie, Jac Nault & Jason Webster.
- Managing & Harvesting Your Farm Data by Karon Cowan of AgTech GIS
- Financing Agriculture Technologies Panel by Dr. Amit, David Macmillan, Dan & Wade Barnes.
- Variable Rate Fertility Overview by Mike Duncan and Rick Willemse.
Following a short break. Jason Tatge, President, Farm mobile presented on “Farm Data Management”, in which he underscored why data is one the most valuable things a farmer harvests. That was followed by Agri-Trends Founder Rob Saik’s presentation on “Building a Dream from the ground up” and how his team has been working on building a network of Agri and Geo Coaches to help farmers.
A welcome reception was held at the trade show to encourage conference delegates to visit the trade show booths and meet Precision Ag experts, socialize with attendees, and network.
On the second day of the conference registration started early followed by breakfast and opening of the Trade show.
The early bird breakout session had two concurrent sessions about:
- Precision Agriculture Technology Results by Paul Raymer, Practical Precision.
- Introduction to LaserAg-Revolutionary New Soil Testing Systems and Workshop by Jacques Nault, LaserAg-Logiag Inc.
In the Opening main session, there were two presentations:
Lisa Prassack, a well-known Agri Food Innovation expert presented on “The future & potential of Technology in the Agriculture & Food Industry”, in which she underlined the importance of farmers storing their farm data.
Nevin McDougall, president Agro art Group, spoke about “Why Innovation & Sustainability Strategies Are Critical to Your Farm & Business Success”.
There was a Precision Agronomy & Research Panel Presentation by Noah Freeman, Jason Webster and Dale Cowan and then following a Coffee break there were breakout concurrent presentations on:
- Unmanned Systems: UAVs, Images, Services & Regulations by Felix Weber, Norm Lamothe and Charles Vidal
- Farmer Software & Technology Update by Chris Creek and Glen Kroeker
- Back to Basics – The Evergreen Revolution by Greg Patterson
- Precision Farm Machinery Update by Darryl Lacey and Greg Kitching
- Variable Rate Seeding Trial, Fungicide Trial & Trial Best Practices by Dale Cowan and Ben Gist.
A Luncheon Keynote Presentation about “Innovation & Agriculture Business Outlook for 2016” by J.P Grevis and Aron Gampel followed the lunch break. A Farmer Panel was moderated by Lisa Prassack in which four farmers from various parts of North America described their experience in Precision Agriculture and interacted with experts, following which, Wade Barnes, President, FarmersEdge presented on “What Farmers Are Doing in Western Canada / USA”.
The last breakout concurrent presentations were:
- Overview of FarmersEdge by Wade Barnes
- Future of Agriculture Imagery & Satellite Services by Andrew Pylpchuk
- BASF Compass Software Introduction by Andrew Elgersma and Neal Dilawri
- Full Season Nitrogen Management Solutions by Stephanie Smith
- Zone Smart, Soil Mapping, Management Zones by Nicole Rabe, Mike Duncan and Dan.
Finally, Joe Dales and Steve Redmond provided the Final Wrap Up presentation and highlighted the various proceedings and outcomes of the Conference and the future outlook of the Precision Agriculture industry.
There is an growing need of Skilled resources in Geospatial Technology who can use High Resolution imagery from Satellite, Airborne Imagery in Agriculture Applications , the outlook for the Precision Agriculture Industry is very promising and is poised to become a $4 Billion industry within a few years.
The Conference proved to be a major boost for the Canadian precision agriculture industry in general and Ontario in particular. Some of the new products launched in the conference such as the LaserAg, look very promising for the industry, the enterprising spirit of the speakers was amazing, the conference was well organized and conducted.
Contributing Author: Hari Shankar Reddy Yeruva, GISP is a Technology Evangelist on a mission to engage with professionals, educators and students that drive excitement around Geospatial Platforms. As an Evangelist he explores every possible opportunity to reach and inspire technical audiences to successfully discover, understand, deploy and operate the core and unique Geospatial Technologies within their chosen domains. He believes in the concept of “desperately learning” and that learning is imperative if we want to solve some of the challenges our world is facing.
— Farms.com Ontario Ag (@OntAg) February 3, 2016
— Farms.com Ontario Ag (@OntAg) February 3, 2016
— Joe Dales (@Joe_Dales) February 3, 2016
— Farms.com Ag News (@FarmsNews) February 3, 2016